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September 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

End of Watch

Like a baseball team blowing a commanding lead in the standings, the box office lost ground for the fourth week in a row over the weekend. Ticket sales were down nearly 30 percent against the same weekend a year ago when a 3D version of Disney’s The Lion King chalked up $22 million to lead the field for the second straight week. Four films made their debut this weekend, and all of them wound up well below analysts’ forecasts and in some cases, even below their studios’ weekend estimates. On Sunday, the word was that Open Road Films’s End of Watch and Relativity’s The House at the End of the Street had wound up in a virtual photo finish, each with around $13 million. As it turned out the two Ends didn’t meet at all. The police drama wound up with $13.15 million, while the horror flick was significantly behind with $12.29 million. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood’s baseball drama Trouble with the Curve popped out with just $12.16 million. The fourth new film, Lionsgate’s Dredd, opened dreddfully with only $6.28 million. Even The Weinstein Co.’s The Master, which had a nothing-short-of-sensational opening in New York and L.A. a week ago, opened below expectations in 788 locations with $4.39 million. (It nevertheless commanded the best per-theater average of any film in wide release.) Meanwhile, the strong lead that 2012’s box office had over 2011’s during the first quarter continued to erode. According to’s box-office tracker Paul Dergarabedian, it now stands at 2.46 percent above last year, while attendance is up 1.31 percent.